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Autism and the Criminal Justice System

Although the last two decades have seen an increase in awareness and the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, policy and practice to meet the needs of this group have not consistently kept pace. To combat part of this problem, the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) has awarded a competitive grant to local leaders who are working to improve interactions between autistic individuals and the justice system.

The award will fund a two-day conference in Fall 2020 that will be led by Lindsay Shea, DrPH, director of the Policy and Analytics Center at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute and Cpl. John Burke, an instructor at the Philadelphia Police Department Training and Education Services Bureau and brings together a group of international experts. This project will culminate with the creation of an international policy brief that offers universal and targeted recommendations to improve, reduce, and prevent interactions between autistic individuals and the criminal justice system, and is the third in a series of INSAR sponsored policy briefs.